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Late Cuisance header gives Sampaoli winning start at Marseille

Marseille (AFP) – Jorge Sampaoli made a dream start to life as Marseille coach on Wednesday with a 1-0 win over Rennes, secured by substitute Michael Cuisance’s late header.

Former Argentina and Chile boss Sampaoli took over a team languishing outside the European places in Ligue 1, on a run of just two wins in 14 matches and who were embarrassed by fourth-tier amateur side Canet Roussillon in the French Cup at the weekend.

But Rennes have also been tumbling down the table and they have now suffered five straight league defeats.

The two out-of-form teams unsurprisingly struggled for most of the match at the Stade Velodrome, managing just four shots on target between them.

But Sampaoli rung the changes late on and it paid off.

On-loan Bayern Munich midfielder Cuisance was in the right place at the right time in the 88th minute, nodding in fellow sub Luis Henrique’s cross to score his first Ligue 1 goal.

The result moves Marseille back up into sixth, two points behind fifth-placed Lens in the race to qualify for the inaugural Europa Conference League.

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